Tags: prenatal | smoking | obese

Prenatal Smoke Exposure Tied to Obesity

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:50 PM

Pregnant women have yet another reason to quit smoking: New research shows prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke increases a child’s risk of being obese in adolescence.
The finding, published online in Archives of General Psychiatry, suggests maternal smoking may cause subtle structural variations in a developing baby’s brain that create a preference for eating fatty foods later in childhood and during teen years.
"Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking is a well-established risk factor for obesity, but the underlying mechanisms are not known," the researchers said. "Preference for fatty foods, regulated in part by the brain reward system, may contribute to the development of obesity."
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For the study, investigators led by Dr. Amirreza Haghighi, of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, tracked 378 adolescents from Quebec – aged 13 to 19 years. Half of the teens’ moms smoked more than one cigarette a day during the second trimester of pregnancy; mothers of the other half were non-smokers.
The results showed those whose moms smoked during pregnancy weighed less at birth and were breastfed for shorter periods of time. They also higher body weight and total body fat as adolescence than those with non-smoking mothers.
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© HealthDay

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Children of pregnant women who smoke are more likely to be obese in adolescence.
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:50 PM
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